A Kansas mother forced to grapple with the devastating loss of a child 17 years ago has once again been met with an unspeakable tragedy as her oldest daughter has also been murdered.
Casey Eaton, 34, was found shot to death in her car in front of her Kansas City home late Wednesday, police said.
Her fiancé, Emenencio Lansdown, was identified as a suspect and after a five-hour standoff with police, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a firearm, officials said.
Lansdown surrendered and no one was injured, Kansas City Kansas Police Chief Terry Zeigler said in a tweet Sunday morning.
Online records show Lansdown is registered as a sex offender after being convicted of attempted aggravated indecent liberties with a child. The victim in that 1997 incident was 14 years old.
Eaton, who leaves behind four children and one grandson, was reportedly killed less than a block from a playground dedicated to the memory of her little sister.
Pamela “Pammy” Butler was just 10 years old when she was kidnapped as she played outside her home in 1999.
Eaton, a teenager at the time, desperately chased after the pickup truck Pammy had been thrown into, but was unable to save her sister, whose body was found three days later.
She had been beaten and strangled.
Pammy’s abductor, Keith Nelson, was later convicted in federal court of her killing and was sentenced to death.
Cherri West relives her younger daughter’s killing every time she appears in court for Nelson’s appeals, but never thought she’d have to go through such devastation a second time over, she told WDAF-TV.
“Two daughters [lost] to murder. I didn’t think I’d ever have to go through this again,” West said. “I really didn’t.”
Eaton was the rock on which West leaned, she said, noting she couldn’t believe that her oldest daughter had also taken by violence.
“I just want to think it's a nightmare, but I know it's not," West told WDAF-TV. "I know it's true."
News of Eaton’s death left countless others stunned and heartbroken.
“I am so sorry that she was taken, your mom always thought of others first and didn't deserve this,” read one message posted on Eaton’s daughter’s Facebook.
“To go through this once is painful. Twice, is unimaginable,” a donor wrote on a GoFundMe page created to offset funeral expenses.
By Monday, nearly $5,000 had been raised.